Very good sentences

The Left/liberal/progressive side engages in cant about “diversity”, when we all know they mean a very precise sort of diversity and a very particular type of background when they talk about “background.” But the Right/conservative side’s emphasis on merit and colorblindness strikes me as consciously blind to the fact that these institutions were always about shaping and grooming the elite and engaged in the game of reflecting and determining the American upper class. The Right/conservative project would abolish Harvard as we know it on a far deeper level than the Left/liberal/progressive posturing cultural radicalism, which at the end of the day has no problem bowing before neoliberal capital so long as lexical modifications are made.

That is from Razib Khan on Harvard, Arnold Kling comments on related issues.


What proportion of Harcard's student body is white gentile?


Depends on if you are counting the legacies and children of vip's or not.

47% is the number I've seen. Legacies are, of course, whiter; football players blacker.

It shouldn't matter.

LOL, no.

Couldn't these same arguments have been made back when Harvard was using the same playbook to discriminate against Jews? Was it a mistake for them to stop doing that?

Khan points out that the Jews (the ones who go to Harvard) assimilated pretty thoroughly. They give lots of money to Harvard, there's not much difference in the architecture or the public witness of Temple Emmanu-el and St Bart's, etc. If the Jews had declined to assimilate, I presume Harvard would continue to impose a quota on their admission.

Don't elite Asians assimilate quite quickly? Probably the fastest of any non-white minority in history. Or is that that elite Asians nonetheless are sufficiently tied to public displays of bourgeois virtues (including harder gender norms and more patriarchal parental relations) that elite whites can never truly accept them as their own. Or perhaps it's that Jewish elites have captured NE elites but the NE elites can't particularly see Asians -- especially NE Asians -- as anything but Others.

I don't think Asians quite hit the donation button as hard. That's the real issue.

I think this is true, but probably also true that a lot of Asian grads haven't had families in the country long enough to establish the kind of "legacy" and connection to an institution that gets them favorable access. Look at the Bushes and the Kennedys, they have connections to Harvard and Yale going back over a century. Granted, social conditions have changed such that Asians (or anyone else for that matter) may never establish that kind of connection, as even the elite colleges now are more about branding rather than acting as a social club that makes you a "Yale man" or "Harvard man", a status which is passed down generationally.

The next generation of Asians will get there. I think though that Harvard wants real power and influence. If Asians all ran for office or became CEOs of big companies, then Harvard wouldn't mind letting them in. Look at Xi Jinping's daughter. There's also a set of white liberals and white conservatives that will never accept them as equals no matter what while mouthing the most politically acceptable excuses to get away with it.

Agreed, wiki. Seems like the real issue is that the elite want to keep Asians out of the next generation's elite (or at least limit the rate of their entry into the elite), much like Harvard of the early 20th century wanted to keep Jews out of the next generation's elite (or at least limit the rate of their entry into the elite).

Both "assimilate" just fine, particularly when they attend Harvard.

In both cases, it's just bare prejudice, and history won't be kind.

Harvard left enough space for rivals like Chicago and MIT to spring up. Obviously, something similar will happen with respect to the qualified Asians Harvard now turns away.

If I take a global perspective, "qualified Americans turned away by Harvard" might be the most first world problem ever.

Actually one thing that's little known is that MIT has become a lot more like Harvard. Starting in the 90s it started to have more "holistic" admissions, especially when under the Admissions Director Marilee Jones who faked her college degrees. Over the last 30 or 40 years, they've also watered down their general math requirements (just compare the rigor of the normal Caltech sequence to the range of calculus classes available at MIT.) If anything, MIT's admission of Asians is towards the low end of recent decades. This is sometimes referred to as, Copying Stanford -- the other large general elite with a strong reputation in Engineering. The only school that tries to pick up those neglected geniuses is Caltech today. But Caltech is way too small (entering class of about 235) to matter much compared to HYPSM. And Chicago, which used to be famous for its brilliant nerds is actually making SAT optional and asking for videos from applicants. What does that mean? You guessed it. No more being able to avoid having your race identified by just refusing to check off the race box!

> Obviously, something similar will happen with respect to the qualified Asians Harvard now turns away.

Sample raw data from AvgSAT of accepted applications. More like that for regional swinging voters rather than the global averages.

Class Uni AvgSAT
2017 Harvard 1521.0 &lt-- built up to Harvard court case in year 2014
2018 Harvard 1505.0 &lt-- sample application number remain steady but AvgSAT dropped
2019 Harvard 1452.1 &lt-- the first year after the announcement of the court case
2020 Harvard 1457.7
2021 Harvard 1455.4
2022 Harvard 1481.4 &lt-- AvgSAT did not recover, might have gained from Yale Halloween saga

2017 Berkeley 1409.6
2018 Berkeley 1409.5 &lt-- sample application number nearly double, maintaining AvgSAT
2019 Berkeley 1427.4 &lt-- slightly improved in AvgSAT
2020 Berkeley 1393.0 &lt-- more Berkeley campus SafeSpace unrests
2021 Berkeley 1452.3
2022 Berkeley 1442.9 &lt-- AvgSAT higher than pre class 2018

2017 UCLA 1410.6
2018 UCLA 1396.9 &lt-- sample application number nearly double, AvgSAT dropped slightly
2019 UCLA 1390.9 &lt-- sample application number started to pull up and away from Berkeley
2020 UCLA 1293.8 &lt-- more campus SafeSpace unrests
2021 UCLA 1449.6
2022 UCLA 1432.4 &lt-- AvgSAT higher than pre class 2018

2017 Caltech 1506.8
2018 Caltech 1448.3
2019 Caltech 1540.0
2020 Caltech 1600.0 &lt-- gain from Berkeley campus unrest?
2021 Caltech 1570.0
2022 Caltech 1520.0 &lt-- AvgSAT higher than pre class 2018

Further test showed that the percentage impact was more marked from applicants from non-California state with lesser percentage of AsianAmericans. The impacts might be across multi-ethnic groups. Percentage wise California had the least percentage application to Harvard.

The HarvardCrimson 5 years data before class 2018 showed that for enrolled Asian AvgSAT=1534, White 1490, Hispanic 1436, NatAm 1424 and and AfrAm 1408. Weighted by the demographic percentage excluding the international students and Unknows percentages and rescaled, that gives Harvard AvgSAT=1482.4, less than the WaiRank value of 1505.

The sample application number changes %incr between classes 2017 and 2018. Percent of AsianAm in state %AsianAm.

State %incr %AsianAm Impact=%incr/%AsianAm
CA 0.0 14.9 0.00 <-- no change.
NonCA 18.8 5.6 3.35 <-- sensing better odds?
Total 13.0 5.6 2.33

CA 264.5 14.9 17.75
NonCA 154.8 5.6 27.65 <-- plan B increases?
Total 191.4 5.6 34.18

CA 71.1 14.9 4.77
NonCA 63.2 5.6 11.28
Total 68.6 5.6 12.26

CA 67.8 14.9 4.55
NonCA 95.5 5.6 17.05
Total 74.1 5.6 13.23

CA 89.0 14.9 5.97
NonCA 106.7 5.6 19.06 <-- 3x more impact on nonCA
GTotal 95.1 5.6 16.99

I passed statistics so I smell a rat. Is 1600 the average SAT of the Caltech class of 2020 or the median? Average would mean that every single member of the class had exactly a 1600, since it is not possible to get a higher score.

Median is easy; more than half the entering class had a 1600.

Caltech has small intake number. Resulting in the number of datapoint in the sample was also small. Since someone said I neglected Caltech so I just throw that in. Another curious effect might explain that is that the percentage of applicants with perfect SATeq for Berkeley was smaller than many other tier1 unis although those with near perfect was quite high. May be Berkeley is too close and in the shade of Caltech and will lose those with perfect SATeq to Caltech. In WaiRank by nominal SAT cutoff Caltech is rank 1 while Berkeley is rank 42. The 11 years sample (so that the number for Caltech is reasonable) SATeq histogram for Caltech and Berkeley,

SATeq Histogram

The SATeq for the enrolled student might be different, some in the waiting list might be invited.

It's certainly interesting how Jewish people seem to be considered White these days, but Asian-Americans are not. Could that change in the next 50 years? Seems unlikely to me, but stranger things have happened throughout history...

Perhaps we can view this as a natural experiment to see how fluid the categories of "White" and "American" are!

In the carousel of identity politics, Jews and Hispanics are considered alternatively White or oppressed minorities whenever it suits the leftist propagandists.

Yes I wonder this too.

It's a wider bridge to cross than the jewish one. Partly because Asian is such a loose category... will Japanese and Filipinos cross over at the same time? Perhaps we will also lump & split things differently.

"Asian" will probably break at some point, it's too loose a category to remain coherent beyond the current generation of millennial Asians looking to construct something "not white" when they know they can't be black. My guess is East Asians will "go white" fairly quickly, in part due to high rates of interracial marriage, part due to lighter skin tones (shallow, but probably relevant), and part due to ease of cultural fit: "Confucian values" seem to go out the window within a generation of moving to the US, not really a surprise since Confucian thought is as much about how to organize society as it is how to conduct yourself. Filipinos may fit in more with Hispanics, a lot of the names are Spanish origin, they're mostly Catholic, and they tend to have big families and a lot of activity revolves around the extended family. Not sure on other SE Asians and South Asians.

The left is much more about merit in fact, while right colorblindness goes out the door when asians are involved. The right is of two minds on jews, loving their money and disliking their power, favoring merit and colorblindness only when it favors themselves and rejecting it in practice.

Depends on which Left.

The Left who are atomised individuals uber alles who've never known community or place, and who hate the idea of any "folk" existing as anything other than social constructs will not be conflicted on merit in the way when it comes into conflict with preserving a "folk" and its ways.

The Left who are increasingly more common, who are intersectional social justice activists and who believe in a social hierarchy where the most oppressed is at the top of the pyramid of social power, I'm not sure they even believe merit is possible or has meaning.

(Of course many Lefties today are somewhere in between.)

"The left is much more about merit in fact"

What the eff are you talking about? The left does everything it can to circumvent meritocracy. They lose out if the system is too meritocratic.

Insightful, but it omits the rising population of pan-racial Americans. A majority-white Harvard (or any elite, for that matter) is increasingly mismatched with America's ever-blending reality.

Oh please. Most of us are reasonably comfortable knowing that places like Harvard can and do serve the interests of a narrow elite. They pay for it.

The myth is that only people who go to Ivy League schools can achieve their full potential. Top graduates at Berkeley, Michigan, UCLA and Virginia do just as well, on average, as any of the Ivies.

I went to a public undergrad university and earned my way into an Ivy League law school.

The only thing that people on the right want to abolish at Harvard is the radical left wing ideological monolith that emplaced itself in those positions through discriminatory hiring and promotions.

Yes, Harvard can do what it wants, but it is amusing to see it twist and turn as it tries to justify itself. What is the Ivy League really worth to the rest of us? A network of bureaucrats in the Federal government - a net minus. Hedge fund operators? Economists churning out meaningless studies?

Of course, many colleges and universities are not really educating their students, so the Ivy League has plenty of company. The opportunity cost of attending college is immense. I think Charles Murray has it right in estimating that only 10%-15% of college age youth really benefit from college education.

Vocational education is still valuable, and a lot of higher ed is just vocational learning, so higher ed overall isn’t a total waste. I am increasingly in favor of some kind of endowment tax for private colleges and universities above some threshold of assets.

So you're saying the right doesn't care about meritocracy, racism, or political correctness? Doesn't care that Asians work hard and are being rejected for being Asian using the flimsiest forms of politically correctness? What happened to you guys? You should relish the opportunity to call out liberal hypocrisy.

Here's a simple hypothesis: Harvard = Salt water school of economics = Bad. U. of Chicago = freshwater school = Good. Hence Harvard is in the cross-hairs but the Chicago boys are fine, and are doing good work in where, Brazil?

Bonus trivia: Boys from Brazil had a complicated plot!

How many Federal judges have degrees from U of Chicago? How many Sentators, Congressmen, or heads of Federal agencies, departments, etc.? Versus how many have an Ivy League degree? There is a reason people in the US care about these institutions.

Right-wingers demanding "viewpoint diversity" like Khan need to stop being snowflakes, and start asking why few clever people support viewpoints based on God's dominion and their own genetically-ordained supremacy.

Please reassure me that this stupidity is not the product of Harvard or any University.

I don't think I know anyone or have ever heard of anyone who uses both "God's dominion" and also "viewpoint diversity" (excluding assigning the ideas to others as you just did).

I think you're conflating very different groups with two very different worldviews.

Not really. Mr Khan demands that they be more represented. My problem is not that those are his beliefs, but his naivety. They will never love him back. (Mr Khan also believes "virtue" of the American republic is best represented not by competent people, but by a man who accuses women of hysteria due to vaginal bleeding during their period.)

Every man who has ever had a girlfriend, as well as every woman, knows that women get hysterical when they're menstruating.

And that women even when not menstruating flip into resentful, grim moods several times a day and hold any questions as to why against you, becoming even more resentful and grim.

Not that this is a bad thing -- it's just how they are. Of course, in a society without real marriage it's disastrous, because then their moods really do indicate impending collapse of any relationship. If they're allowed to wander off, they'll wander off.

"Mr Khan also believes "virtue" of the American republic is best represented not by competent people, but by a man who accuses women of hysteria due to vaginal bleeding during their period."

You had be going for a second, but this seals the deal that you can't possibly be serious.

Your "daddy", Mr Trump, genuinely believes it.


You have no idea what you're talking about wrt Razib. Similarly, if you'd bothered to read the linked article, you'd have noticed where he addressed the issue of how many conservatives are in the top tier of the intelligence distribution. You're adding negative value to the conversation with your ignorance. Maybe find some conversation more in keeping with your intellectual talents instead--Youtube comment threads, graffiti arguments on men's room walls, etc.

I'd rather right wingers talk out their problems than go shooting out a yoga studio or a synagogue. They make antifa look like ninja turtles.

"The problem though is that even though visibility matters, unanimity of viewpoint and opinion may cause problems in pumping the pipeline to power in a democratic republic where there is still a pluralism of views. Harvard undergraduates are very liberal and secular compared to the American public. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But if you want to be the training ground for power, in a democratic republic where there are still differing views it is important that one expect those views and anticipate responses (though clearly a lot of politicians lie about their piety and ‘evolve’ in their ideology)."

"Second, the alienation of the successor to the “Eastern Establishment” from the large numbers of moderate and conservative whites will be a long-term problem in terms of the maintenance of its grip on power. Though this segment of the population is in decline, it is still large and substantial, and will wield power and influence out of proportion to its overall numbers for decades because they are older. They vote more, and they mobilize well."

These were the most important parts of Razib's essay. I used to consider Razib a conventional conservative, but the more I read him, the more I realize he's a paleocon and a fatalist: once you lose a certain amount of consensus in a democracy or republic, it's lost and you can't get it back absent serious conflict. He's right that Harvard, Yale, etc., will continue to lose their legitimacy except for the Ivy set and the people sympathetic to its politics and, much like the Ivies were back at the beginning of the 20th Century, will be seen as guardians of an aristocracy removed from the concerns, beliefs, and values of "ordinary" Americans (and no, these won't be just white people, they will probably be increasingly Asian and Hispanic). Critical race theory, Foucault, queer theory, postcolonialism, deconstructionism, and Marxian-Lacanian analyses of capitalism just aren't facts, knowledge, or science the way, you know, the actual sciences are. You can't hide behind "academic freedom" and then expect people to subsidize and respect your scholar-activist niche, especially when you use your position to propagate those ideas amongst what Razib calls a ruling class that will become increasingly detached from the rest of the country.

It's easy to stack the deck on viewpoint when you:

1. Favor groups that are overwhelmingly of a certain ideology;
2. Create personality and extracurricular factors that enable subjective judgment to further select on the basis of ideology; and
3. Create entire departments and majors devoted to a single ideology.

There is no reason why a Department of Women's Studies should be completely leftist, but it is, and by design. These departments and those like it help pack the faculty Senate and every committee.

Did you read the article? Conservatives test lower on IQ than liberals. A top school like Harvard of course is going to select more liberals because they do better on tests and get higher grades. Conservatives should improve their academics instead of behaving like the entitled whiners that they themselves mock.

You left out the bit about the conservatives being a larger group, so there was therefore actually a similar number of people in the top bracket as the liberals.

I'm not in thrall to Harvard by a long stretch, but I predict it will maintain legitimacy more or less to the extent that it deserves to, which is a pretty damn high level in most disciplines that matter.

"which is a pretty damn high level in most disciplines that matter."

I agree with this, but that is major qualification, and will likely be limited to the hard sciences and math. Being a professor or grad from the Kennedy School of Government, though, will probably lose its cachet if they only teach political theory and history from a progressive standpoint. Esteemed individuals and institutions need to work to earn and maintain the esteem of the community, they don't just have it by default.

Markets in elite education. Harvard has designed an admissions criteria that Harvard believes will maintain Harvard's status. Are those who designed the criteria stupid? One might reach that conclusion reading the blog posts and comments here. Of course, economists are soothsayers, but not very good soothsayers. I'd rely on Harvard and its prediction of the future.

You're making an obviously false assumption up front, begging the question.

Harvard does indeed want to preserve its status. You vastly underestimate the degree to which it holds other objectives.

As the stats in the previous post show, Harvard could fill every slot with persons with perfect GPAs and perfect SAT verbal scores, regardless of their race. It could do so without admitting a single Black student, preserving its eliteness but working entirely against a "diversity" goal. Wanting more blacks is a choice, not an imperative to the naive objective you claim is paramount. Arguably, if racism still existed, racist donors would be MORE likely to donate to a Harvard that didnt value diversity. By sheer demographics this should more than outweigh the availability of wealthy black donors. And Harvard could hide its racism among overwhelming advantages of whites and asians in objective measures.

Harvard is a leftist monolith. It is more correct to assume that it has a "diversity" objective subject to an "elite" constraint.

If Harvard is a leftist monolith, then why do they graduate people like Mitt Romney, George W. Bush, Bill O'Reilly, and our esteemed hosts at Marginal Revolution? You seem to have all the answers.

Students are not part of the faculty or administration and some students manage to avoid being indoctrinated.

The ratio of left-leaning to right-leaning faculty/administrators is ridiculously lopsided: trotting out someone like Harvey Mansfield as the token outspoken political conservative proves the point.

Bill O'Reilly graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in History from Marist College in 1971. He got a Masters in Broadcast Journalist from Boston University in 1975 and a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government in 1996. The MPA is a one-year terminal degree.

They all graduated 40+ years ago.

Harvard has had an Asian quota in place for some time. During that time Asians greatly increased in both power and number. They are signaling through this lawsuit that as stakeholders in the system they don't think the quota is aligned with what they contribute. Harvard can either loosen the quota to keep them "in the family" or maintain it thus signaling that Asians may need to consider alternatives if they don't like it.

Is Harvard making the right choice by having a 20% Asian cap or are they being stubborn in a situation where they should give? I guess time will tell, but decisions makers have to make calls based on the here and now.

Interesting that my preference for "race" blind merit is called right wing. I am not sure the right wing is really asking for that. Maybe it seems like they want Harvard to stay the same "in order to expose the violence inherit in the system."

(In the best of all worlds a merit system would be on the path to that ultimate goal, a Post-Racial World. But the problem with even saying PRW is that it is Lucy's football. Offered many times only to be revealed as a ruse, and snatched away leaving us with a definite path dependency problem.)

During the Kavanaugh hearings (before the Ford accusations), one of the stranger moments was when Kamala Harris accused Kavanaugh of finding the idea of America eventually becoming "one race" as something desirable. This was clearly not a reference to genocide or anything of the sort, but the idea that everyone, regardless of their background, will be viewed as an American first and foremost socially and legally. Harris seemed to find this idea evil and horrifying, as though she'd caught him in some kind of "gotcha" moment.

To fill in my distinction, everyone has an ancestry, and anyone is free to identify with it, but crude race is a big dangerous concept.

Be Irish (*) instead of White, etc.

* - and any arbitrary fraction Native American.

"To fill in my distinction, everyone has an ancestry, and anyone is free to identify with it, but crude race is a big dangerous concept."

I generally agree with you, and agree that race can be dangerous (like any big idea). But it does become difficult without social cloistering and pillarization to avoid the blending of ethnic backgrounds, especially when those ethnicities might bear some affinity with each other culturally, religiously, or historically. My girlfriend is English-Irish-Italian-American by ancestry, but that is cumbersome and you can't silo those identities off, they will ultimately blend in a person. Into what? European-American? Most people would read that as a shorthand for "white American", which complicates the race/ethnicity distinction. Maybe America will be the first country where "white" is an ethnicity and ancestry rather than simply a race: it's already that way for black Americans, black is an ancestry linking you to Africa and slavery.

For what it's worth, I have never identified myself as white, because I think my particular ancestry is vastly more interesting :-)

On the other hand I have caught some Asian friends referring to me as the white guy, which from the reference of the moment is probably fair. Relatively speaking.

There's a school of thought (the intersectional variety) that considers not identifying as white as the ultimate expression of white privilege, because it shows that white is the default in that society and that you have the ability to willfully blind yourself to the benefits you derive from being a shareholder in Whiteness Inc.

I can't say I entirely agree with this viewpoint, but it's an interesting critique. Like a lot of theoretical critiques, it's ultimately unfalsifiable and is a matter of faith.

Without using fancy words, it was one less thing thing I had to worry about on a job interview.

Schools can have non-academic selection factors. Every selection factor becomes a merit factor. The problem is that the actual selection factors used are a transparent fig leaf for unlawful racial favoritism of preferred minority groups.

Harvard wastes no time examining whether Mormons, a historically oppressed minority with unconventional beliefs, are adequately represented. The fact that they are overwhelming white, Republican, and christian is the reason for this.

anonymous, you are slowly realizing that you are, in the current state of politics in America, right-wing. It may be difficult, even painful, at first, but you'll see, after sometimes, one gets used to it.

For many years I identified that way. I could again, but the right would have to reform just a bit more.

I've always thought that it was stupid and vulgar of Jews to give a crap about being excluded from Harvard, Yale, Princeton. I'm sure the conversations were much more interesting at City College.

Somehow I think the world is better off with Jews talking to the world than talking to each other.

Desunited States of America. Sad.

It's amusing watching the defenders of Harvard defend themselves with data, obtuse arguments, hand waving blah, blah, blah. I mean, really it's just racism, pure and simple. It's shameful.

Never underestimate the power of denial.

Sixty percent of the Harvard class comes from the upper one percent - it is part of an intergenerational wealth and power transfer mechanism. The ruling class maintains it's status as the ruling class. They trot out the exceptions, like Tyler, to make the case that they deserve their status.

They don't.

Let's tax that endowment.

Oxford and Cambridge have continued for centuries to dominate UK politics and business. Theresa May is a ... wait for it .... Oxford grad. Their strategy has been to allow in a quota of the most brilliant minds from the mid and lower classes. But at least they don't engage in the total hypocrisy of lecturing the rest of the country about racial discrimination.


* endowment.

first time i've read comments on another blog in a long time.

1) "don't read the comments" still applies
2) but it's not as bad as twitter replies

Not going to earn any with that attitude :-)

"you can see that liberals tend to be smarter than conservatives"
Knew it.

"and both are smarter than moderates."
Moderates are the real sheeple.

A serious answer would be that method of arrival matters more than place of rest.

Obviously there are dumb reasons to end up at any point on a political spectrum. And for much of the spectrum there are smarter ways.

The name one example of that confusion, today people tend to think of centrists and moderates as lazy middle-splitters rather than reasoned thinkers. Well yeah, that's one way to get there, but not the only way.

It may be on the other hand that you understand quite a lot about the advantages of individual and group action and try to choose the best of each to suit a particular problem.

To be honest I worry more about the ideologues who only have a hammer in their toolbox. Forever treating everything as a nail.

Moderates as "dumb"; this is one of those ideas that Razib is the great popularizer of... and it's true in a sense - moderates do have lower IQ proxy measures and educational attainment than the extremes, and have a lower stock of political.

But it implies facts about distribution of political reasoning that are totally incorrect:

1) that moderates hold less accurate ideas about the total political spectrum and particular its extremes than the extreme do. not true - they're better at it.
2) they are less able to make predictions about reason based arguments. not true - partisans are unable to reason when findings conflict with beliefs - and
3) less good at morally judging leaders. nope - partisans up rate people who share similar positions -
4) moderates, being less smart, tend to be less engaged. not true - more skin-in-the-game participants who have to put their money where their mouth is in forecasting games tend to be more moderate -

The polarized are intelligent, it just seems that they are systematically so in ways that worsen their ability to reason about politics.

Hope I’m not too late to this conversation. I wonder how much the increasing presence of Asian Asians (as opposed to Asian Americans) impacts admissions at elite colleges. My grad school, a generally elite university, is struggling with the same issue. Asians tend to pay full freight, but too many of them diluted the value of being around Americans (read White Americans) to build networks.

Of course, an employer can restrict hiring to those WITH a college degree.

But could additional EXPLICIT restrictions based on a specific college like Harvard (or the University of the Virgin Islands) be added?
If no, why? Would such a restriction be a state/federal civil and/or state/federal criminal violation? If criminal, how many years in prison would the likely offender receive?

I'm just thinking that many consumers may prefer to deal with firms that explicitly discriminate against Harvard and Yale grads.

Fantastic article! So dense with info it is hard to decide what to quote. Tyler's choice of a quote is as good as any.

"the fact that these institutions were always about shaping and grooming the elite and engaged in the game of reflecting and determining the American upper class" is totally beside the point, which is that such blatant favoritism is in violation of public policy and, as such, deserves no taxpayer support.

Harvard has had an Asian quota in place for some time. During that time Asians greatly increased in both power and number. They are signaling through this lawsuit that as stakeholders in the system they don't think the quota is aligned with what they contribute. Harvard can either loosen the quota to keep them "in the family" or maintain it thus signaling that Asians may need to consider alternatives if they don't like it.

Is Harvard making the right choice by having a 20% Asian cap or are they being stubborn in a situation where they should give? I guess time will tell, but decisions makers have to make calls based on the here and now.

Let me phrase is more directly. Asians program your computers, engineer your products, stitch you up when you get sick, and their savings fund your proliferate government. There is a country with a billion of them that will overtake you in the next century. For all this they are awarded a 20% stake in the ruling elite.

Blacks are net resource drains that contribute little more than rap music and white guilt. They can show up in some swing states every four years or so I suppose. They're maybe 1% of the smart fraction in this country. For this they are awarded a 15% stake in the ruling elite.

Does that make sense to you? Is it defensible if you cut the crap and state it directely. Why should Asians accept that state of affairs without complaint.

As an American, I agree with Razib Khan that above a certain threshold, extra competence in the ruling elite is totally superfluous. The point isn’t whether this or that person is better at jumping through hoops or climbing a status hierarchy, the point is whether they can lead institutions and the nation in a way that broadly benefits all the important stakeholders. The last generation or two of ruling elites in the US have arguably sucked at doing that. If Asian-Americans can do a better job at leading institutions and the nation to benefit the broad populace, then I want Harvard and the Ivies to admit as many of them as possible. If not, why should I give much of a damn if Harvard discriminates against them in admissions? The point of the ruling elite is stewardship and leadership. If meritocracy doesn’t get you that, then meritocracy should be discarded in favor of some system that gets results.

I'm not so very thrilled with the idea that Harvard gets one set of rules, and us lesser mortals get a different set. If discrimination by race is forbidden, then it should probably be forbidden even for the important people. Alternatively, if it's permitted, then it should probably be permitted for everyone.

The question for Razib Kahn is: If noblesse oblige is how we should judge Harvard, how's it doing? Would a more Asian Harvard have more or less noblesse oblige?

My own guess from doing to an Asian magnet school is that at a minimum a more Asian Harvard would less actively hate many of the citizens it rules, and would be less ideological and more pragmatic. I don't know if noblesse oblige would be the right word for that, but it would be an improvement.

I assume Harvard is broadly acting in what they see as their own institutional interest. That's not the same as what's in society's interest, though Harvard is a pretty major fixture of the ruling class, so presumably they have more incentive to keep things running well than, say, Trump voters living on disability in the rust belt. But they have a very strong incentive to keep things running in ways that work for them, including keeping them in their role as a major gateway to the ruling class.

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